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Pale yolks - think porridge is the culprit!
#1
My girls (ex-batts, bantam Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks) always lay eggs with beautiful golden yolks. When the weather turned really cold a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to spoil them for the winter, so started giving them porridge for breakfast. It's a bit of a concoction really, rolled oats/sultanas/tinned sweetcorn plus the cat food leftovers, all soaked with hot water. The hens love it, but the egg yolks have suddenly gone really pale, OH's breakfast eggs this morning were pale lemon! Funnily enough, the bantams tend to get pushed out in the porridge rush, and their eggs are still golden, so I think the big girls are filling up on their oaty breakfast and not eating enough meal/pellets/grass/bugs to give the yolks their colour - does this sound logical? I'm cutting down on the oats tomorrow morning, but what foods can I mix in with their breakfast to boost yolk colour?
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#2
[quote name='Kate' date='03 January 2012 - 10:22 PM' timestamp='1325629355' post='248481']

My girls (ex-batts, bantam Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks) always lay eggs with beautiful golden yolks. When the weather turned really cold a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to spoil them for the winter, so started giving them porridge for breakfast. It's a bit of a concoction really, rolled oats/sultanas/tinned sweetcorn plus the cat food leftovers, all soaked with hot water. The hens love it, but the egg yolks have suddenly gone really pale, OH's breakfast eggs this morning were pale lemon! Funnily enough, the bantams tend to get pushed out in the porridge rush, and their eggs are still golden, so I think the big girls are filling up on their oaty breakfast and not eating enough meal/pellets/grass/bugs to give the yolks their colour - does this sound logical? I'm cutting down on the oats tomorrow morning, but what foods can I mix in with their breakfast to boost yolk colour?

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try grated carrot, in winter or marigold petals in summer, both these will make your yolks more orange than yellow.

the layers pellets are carefully balanced to contain everything your girls need, I would cut down on all those treats to a small spoonfull of the mix per hen, and only on icy days (just my opinion)
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#3
Kate, I don't know about it affecting the yolk colour but the porridge is too much protein, I would stop giving it to them.



Mine are all on Garvo which gives lovely deep yellow yolks, when it's freezing I add a few dry oats to their layers' and they only get a warm feed when it is very cold - none so far this winter (hope it stays that way).
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#4
I agree with Goldilocks here - you need to cut down drastically on the 'extras' It is not really cold enough (unless you live right up north) to be giving the girls wet mash to counteract the cold. All you are doing is (as you said) filling them up on treats - because that is what it is - and they are not eating the pellets.



When I do hot mash for my birds in the cold weather, I use layers mash (or soaked pellets) so that they are still getting their balanced diet, given first thing in the morning and only enough that it is eaten in about 20 mins flat and then they've got pellets for the rest of the day. Try adding cod liver oil - it's a good all round supplement.
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#5
Carrot tops, grass or alfafa will give you nice yolks.
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